Sights to visit in Marken
The former island of Marken in North Holland is a place of many sights. A visit to the Old Dutch Marken and it’s sights is an unforgettable experience! The characteristic little houses, the pleasant atmosphere and the beautiful view over the Gouwzee and Markermeer make it a great place to spend time on the peninsula.
Welcome to Mereke, as its inhabitants call Marken!
History of Marken
The beautiful peninsula of Marken is surrounded by the Gouwzee and the Markermeer. Until 1957 Marken was an isolated island. Today, Marken is connected to the mainland by a dam. First in the Zuiderzee and later in the IJsselmeer. In the thirteenth century the first inhabitants were monks from Friesland. Because the sea regularly flowed over the island, the ground was extremely fruitful. At that time, the inhabitants mainly lived from livestock breeding and agriculture. Later, the population of Marken also lived from fishing, although agriculture remained the most important source of income.
Do you visit Marken? Here are five tips for nice sights in Marken.
1. Discover the authentic Marken and the authentic Taverne
In the picturesque harbour of Marken you will be welcomed by the characteristic wooden green houses. The houses were clustered on artificial hills to protect the rising waters of the Zuiderzee. Around the harbour of Marken you can visit a number of souvenir shops. For instance, stroll along the authentic houses and take in the age-old culture that Marken has to offer. Also take a look at one of the traditionally decorated Marken houses.
Did your walk through Marken make you hungry? Eat a fresh fish at a fish stand in the harbour or visit restaurant Taverne de Visscher. At the oldest tavern in Marken you can enjoy a nice lunch or dinner. Enjoy the beautiful location in the harbour and look out over the Markermeer. Did you know that Taverne de Visscher has a unique collection of ship models?
2. Visit the ‘Paard van Marken’ lighthouse
Since 1700 Marken has had its own lighthouse. Het Paard van Marken is located on the easternmost tip of the island, on a sandy beach on the edge of the Markermeer. The current lighthouse ‘Paard van Marken’ was built in 1839. Did you know that the Paard van Marken is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the Netherlands? In 1971 the Paard van Marken was pushed a few centimetres from its place by creeping ice. This took place a year later than the nomination of the lighthouse as a National Monument. Nowadays this sight in Marken is inhabited by Thijs and Liliane Spijker.
Address Horse of Marken: Oosterpad 1. The Horse of Marken is about 30 minutes walk from the harbour of Marken.
3. The Great Church
When visiting Marken, the Grote Kerk in the Kerkbuurt is a sight and definitely worth a visit. This landmark in Marken was built in 1903 and 1904 to the design of A.H.L. Kups. The Grote Kerk is a replacement of a Waterstaatskerk. Some elements in the church are much older! The hexagonal pulpit, the reader, the chandeliers and a copper doubleblower date from the 17th century and are under the protection of the national monument status. The Grote Kerk has been in use as a Protestant church since its opening.
From April to October the church is open to visit.
4. Monument ‘The Wave
In 1916, Marken and other villages on the Zuiderzee were hit by a dramatic sea aflood In 2016, the monument ‘The Wave’ was revealed in memory of the tragedy. The landmark in Marken portrays a wave at sea and encourages contemplation, awareness and encounter. The monument is located at the head of the southern harbour dam at the port of Marken, past the houses in the harbour area.
5. War Memorial
One last sight in Marken, which you must have seen, is the War Memorial. The monument stands at the Kerkbuurt in memory of the victims of the Second World War. There is also a memorial next to the war monument. This reminds the inhabitants of Marken of the crash of a Short Stirling BK 710 plane, which happened in the night of 25 to 26 May 1943. The propeller blade on the memorial comes from the original Short Shirling BK710.
Come and visit Marken!
In short, enough special and historical sights to see on Marken! Come and enjoy all the beautiful and special that this old harbor in Noord-Holland has to offer.
Combine a day in Marken with a visit to the world famous nearby fishing village of Volendam? Shipping company Volendam Marken Express sails daily between Marken and Volendam at multiple times. You can decide for yourself where you get on the boat, this is possible in the harbour of Marken and Volendam. The crossing over the Gouwzee takes half an hour. On board you can order a drink at the Captain’s bar. Weather permitting, you can enjoy the wide view over the Gouwzee on the upper deck. The audio guide tells more about the rich history of both villages.
Book your boat tickets for the crossing between Marken & Volendam at Volendam Marken Express. Make your day out in Marken and Volendam complete with one of our packages. For example our traditional costume package including original photo in authentic Volendam costume, a family day out including some goodies on board or our Pancake package including delicious pancake at Taverne de Visscher.
Other ‘Old Harbor’ must see & do’s
Also check out our tips for sights in Volendam, a day trip with children in Volendam and sights in nearby Monnickendam.